On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with the long-time commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, Larry Hazzard, Sr.
Boxing has been reviving this year, with all-time records being smashed by the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and overall renewed interest in the sport. In addition to an increase in ratings on the mainly premium TV networks which have telecast boxing in the U.S. for many years, the almost weekly shows in the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series on broadcast and non-premium networks have sparked more awareness of the many boxers featured on these shows.
To discuss these developments, we spoke with Larry Hazzard, Sr. by phone Wednesday. And he is very positive about the PBC, giving it a B+ for its efforts so far.
"These guys are being paid handsome purses," he said, referring to the fighters.
"And it's just a good thing all around. For the fighter, it's a good thing all around for the fans, and it's the greatest thing that has happened to the sport of boxing I would say in the last decade or so."
We discussed how PBC has mainly featured legitimate competition and many fights resulting in upsets, how the use of free TV has helped bring in new sponsors, how fighters are making more money on PBC shows than they ever have, how the focus of the PBC is on the fighters, and more.
As for the critics of the PBC who are bringing legal action against it, and the statement supposedly from the president of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) calling for U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the PBC, he minced no words.
"They're full of shit," he said of those in the ABC who oppose PBC. "The ABC doesn't represent New Jersey," he added.
Accusations of violations of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act are baseless, he said, which was a law designed to "stop Don King" a generation ago. The charge that PBC, which is not a promotional entity, uses "sham promoters" is also baseless, as long-time and noted promoters like DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Boxing, TGB Promotions, and even Don King Productions have promoted or co-promoted many PBC shows.
The opposition from rival promoters is because, he said, PBC, with its innovative business plan and use of multiple promoters, has "outsmarted so many of these other promoters." He said he calls PBC "smart business people." And as far as the ABC, he said, "It's all a bunch of b.s., and they know it."
We also discussed what tweaks are needed for the PBC's television presentation and marketing, the possibility of a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Andre Berto, the move to revive boxing in Atlantic City, and much, much more.
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